Acer laptops are a popular brand due to their low cost and competitive features. Unfortunately, problems can arise during the life of an Acer laptop. A common problem is a broken or loose power jack. Power jacks are the small jacks that connect the power adaptor cable to the circuit board. Over time, these jacks can become loose. This prevents the battery from charging, and the laptop may power down randomly. Fortunately, power jacks are relatively easy to repair.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Small screwdriver
- Anti-static strap
- Soldering gun
- Solder wick
- Replacement power jack
Backup any data on your hard drive before disassembling the computer. Unplug the power cord, remove the laptop battery by pressing the latch, and allow the laptop to discharge for a few moments. Wear an anti-static wrist strap or rubber gloves to protect the circuit board.
Remove the hard drive cover and hardware by removing the screws on the small cover, and store these in a safe location. Turn the screws counterclockwise to remove them. Hard drives covers are located on the bottom or side of most Acer laptops. Remove any drives or external components as well by removing the screws. Place small screws in a cup or other container to keep from losing them.
Remove the external case by removing the screws on the bottom in a counterclockwise motion. Keep all screws in the cup or a safe location for reassembly. Gently pull up on the case to remove it. This should expose the circuit board on most Acer laptop models. On some models, you may have to disassemble the top case by removing additional screws, the keyboard and other hardware to access the power jack.
Locate the power jack on the circuit board. This is the small component which attaches to the external power cord. Inspect the jack for damage or a loose connection. Most problems are due to a loose solder connection.
Unsolder the power jack by using a small soldering gun. Solder wick, if available, is helpful in removing solder. Heat each connector pin with the solder gun and gently pull on the power jack to loosen it. Repeat this process for each pin to remove the power jack.
Clean the power jack by removing the excess solder on the connector pins. You can do this by scraping it with a sharp knife, or by heating the solder on each pin to remove it. Clean the circuit board where the power jack connects using the same process. Clean both until you can see the bare metal.
Insert a new power jack into the holes in the circuit board. Heat each power jack pin and apply solder. Allow the solder to flow around the pin connector and power jack pin for a strong connection. Repeat this process for each pin on the jack to attach the power jack to the circuit board.
Re-assemble the Acer by reattaching the case. Insert the screws and turn them clockwise to tighten. Reinstall the hardware and hard drive by inserting the screws and cover plate. Completely reassemble the laptop by reversing the disassembly. Attach the power cord and battery, and power on the laptop to test. If it worked, the Acer should now function properly.
Tips and warnings
- Power jacks are sometimes damaged by laptop users leaving the power plug in the jack and attempting to move or carry the computer, bumping the plug which can break the jack. Always remove the power plug from the jack before moving the laptop.
- Some components on the circuit board, such as capacitors, can cause electrical shock even with power disconnected.
- Do not overheat the circuit board when soldering the power jack. This can damage the laptop. Use a solder gun that has a low setting or use a low-power soldering pencil to help avoid overheating the delicate circuit board.
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